3M manufactures Bair Hugger Warming Blankets and sells forced air-warming blankets for implant surgeries nationwide. The blanket helps patients under anesthesia regulate their body temperature while preventing hypothermia.
Using a surgical hose, the system forces hot air into the disposable blanket draped over the patient’s larger body areas during surgery.
The warming blanket has been used by many surgeons during millions of surgical procedures each year to reduce the chance of hypothermia when the patient loses body heat faster than it can be produced.
While designed to reduce the potential risks of developing an infection, the device might cause infection by blowing highly contaminated bacteria-laden air from the tainted floor area into the patient’s opened surgical site.
The potential risk of developing an infection is especially severe for individuals undergoing artificial heart valve implant or joint replacement surgeries, including knee and hip replacements.
The Inventor Speaks Out
The potential risks of developing infections are so severe that even the inventor warns healthcare providers and surgeons of the potentially serious problems the device could cause during orthopedic and heart surgery.
Dr. Scott Augustine, the inventor of the Bair Hugger warming blanket, introduced the device in 1988 through his privately owned company.
However, the doctor now claims the device creates significantly higher risk than once believed. It has been alleged that patients with the device may be exposed to dangerous contaminants transferred from the hospital floor into their opened surgical site.
The Bair Hugger warming blankets were first marketed through the Augustine Medical Company before its name was changed to Arizant. In 2002, the doctor resigned from his Arizant positions as chief executive and chairman of the board. By 2010, Arizant was purchased by 3M.
In response to claims made by Dr. Augustine, 3M stated that they believe “Mr. Augustine’s allegations against forced-air warming stand from a personal vendetta and are baseless.”
However, at least 14 lawsuits were filed in U.S. federal courts alleging serious complications involving infections by patients who would undergo surgery using the Bair Hugger warming blanket system.
3M Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuit Litigation
Most lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota have claimed that patients develop severe infections after implant replacement surgeries.
Many lawsuits claim that the device interfered with operating airflow and caused contaminants and bacteria to spread into the patient’s surgical site. Some patients had to undergo additional surgery involving removing and replacing the affected implant.
Lawsuits filed against Arizant and 3M claim that manufacturers were negligent during all Bair Hugger warming blankets’ design, manufacturing, and promotion processes.
Many plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit to seek financial compensation to cover past, current, and future damages involving hospitalization, medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, and pain, suffering, grief, and mental anxiety due to the defective Bair Hugger blanket.
Even though there have been repeated warnings and escalating scrutiny involved in Bair Hugger warming blankets, many hospitals and surgeons still use the devices for orthopedic surgeries nationwide.
In all likelihood, there will be many more Bair Hugger infection lawsuits and claims against the manufacturer and distributors of the product.
Filing a 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Lawsuit for Compensation
The medical device recalls that Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC attorneys are evaluating potential compensation claims from patients who have suffered life-threatening infections after implant surgery.
Our team of lawyers is working on behalf of our clients injured by forced air Bair Hugger warming blankets during their hip or knee replacement surgery or heart valve replacement surgery that cause complications involving:
- Sepsis (septic knee or hip infection)
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
- Deep joint infections that require additional surgery or antibiotic spacers
- Wrongful death
A reputable, experienced Chicago Medical Device Defect Attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers encourages you to call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 for a case review to determine your eligibility for an individual injury claim or involvement in a Bair Hugger class-action suit.
You might be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your losses, damages, and injuries. We accept these cases on contingency, so no upfront fee is required.